This Iqaluit artist is using her body to pull stereotypes apart
For Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, nudity isn't just revealing — it's a challenge
"It's a political act, it's a cultural act, it's an idiosyncratic art form." That's artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory on how she uses Inuit mask dancing (uaajeerneq) in her art. In the film Timiga Nunalu, Sikulu (My Body, The Land and The Ice), Bathory is naked and lying on the tundra as the camera pans over her body and her face with stuffed cheeks, painted in stark black and red. And as Bathory tells you in the above video (produced by filmmaker Anubha Momin and directed by Timiga Nunalu, Sikulu cinematographer Jamie Griffiths), her nudity is not just revealing — it's a challenge.
Bathory offered Timiga Nunalu, Sikulu as her contribution to the project #callresponse, a collaboration made up of Indigenous women artists, and presented it alongside renowned Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. In the film, Bathory's work becomes an powerful weapon aimed at taking apart stereotypes of the "Pocahottie" and the sexual violence perpetrated against Indigenous women.
You can see Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in Tanya Tagaq's recent video, "Retribution".
Just a note: as you might have guessed, there is nudity in this video.
Anubha Momin is a writer, performer and digital specialist who splits her time between Iqaluit, Nunavut and Toronto, Ontario. Her blog, Finding True North, covers everything from how-to guides to interviews with the Prime Minister to Northern music reviews, taking a hyper-local approach that appeals to her Nunavut base as well as national readers.
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